Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma on Tuesday confirmed he will open the batting for the three-time champions in most of the matches in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019.
Rohit Sharma said he had always wanted to bat according to the needs of the team and opined that the team they have picked this time gives him the freedom to bat higher up the order.
Rohit also added that the move to open the batting for Mumbai Indians has been taken, keeping in mind the preparations for 2019 World Cup, starting May 30 in England and Wales.
“My approach will be the same as it is for any tournament. I have in the past batted in the middle order and I have opened as well in a few games. Yeah, wherever the team requires me to bat, I have to bat there. We have to make sure we get the right balance and team composition,” Rohit told the media on Tuesday.
The Mumbai Indians captain: “This year, I will open the batting in all the games. That’s for sure. World Cup is one of the factors. But that [opening position] is where I have got a lot of success of late. The team understands that. We now have got some experience in the middle order. That allows me to go and bat at the top. I will try and open in every game possible.”
Rohit has achieved a lot of success while opening the batting for India over the years. The right-hander averages more than 50 while opening the batting for India in ODI cricket and has amassed 6043 runs, including 20 centuries at No. 1 and No. 2 position.
On the flipside, Rohit has struggled to be as consistent while batting in the middle-order. At the international level, Rohit averages considerably less when he bats in the middle order than when he opens the batting.
In the IPL, Rohit has been struggling to get going in the middle order. Rohit had managed just 286 runs in 14 matches last season wherein Mumbai Indians failed to make the play-offs. Even during Mumbai’s title-winning campaign in 2017, Rohit averaged only 23.78 from 17 matches.
You have to listen to your body: Rohit on workload management
Meanwhile, Rohit also spoke on the much-talked-about issue of workload management for World Cup-bound players during IPL 2019, starting May 23.
While India captain Virat Kohli had insisted there is no cap of the players’ workload and suggested the players need to be smart about managing themselves, Rohit has pointed out that India players are heading into the IPL on the back of a busy international schedule on the road.
“We’ve been on the road for the past couple of years. You have to listen to your body. If it needs rest, I’ll take rest. We’re here for the biggest league in the world. So we know our priorities,” Rohit said.